Kris-James issue drowns talks on Pope, Kristel Tuesday. (Movent)
Kris-James issue drown talks on Pope, Kristel Tuesday. (Movent)

MANILA, Philippines – The latest news about actress Kris Aquino and ex-husband Basketball star James Yap was this: They now lead the trending news.

It even captured the attention of everyone, drowning out discussions on the nation’s premier events to include of the installation of the new Catholic leader Pope Francis.

The former husband and wife, both famous celebrities in the Philippines, quarreling over custody of their son even stole the limelight news from Pope Francis or Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) and the country’s current trending news, among other pressing problem, about university student, Kristel Tejada, who ended her own life apparently due to unpaid tuition fee.

According to an analysis released to media Friday by the Movent, a digital marketing agency based in the country, the online discussions was centered on Pope Francis from March 14 until last Tuesday when his installation was held in Vatican. The talks on Pope was said to be about 3,574 mentions, the Movent reported.

The Aquino-Yap talks, however, began to be picked up by the Netizens late Tuesday, eventually surpassing the conversations about Pope Francis on Thursday, and peaking Thursday evening (with 13,783 mentions) when she appeared on television news interviews.

Meanwhile, Tejada, whose death prompted protests that led the UP system to lift its no-late-payment policy on tuition, was the subject of much talk but did not quite experience a spike.

Although initial news about her suicide gained 965 mentions, interest appeared to dip and remain constant for the rest of the one-week period.

In terms of mentions, Aquino got an easy lead in terms of average mentions per day at 2,282, followed by Pope Francis at 1,727, and Tejada a far third at 374.

“It seems that celebrities have a stronger hook on us than things of great local or national significance. It may have something to do with the way mass media reports it, for one.  But it may also have something to do with what we think we have at stake,” explained Movent’s digital intelligence head, Marck Rimorin.

“(It may be that) Philippine social media identifies a lot with Kris, or maybe the advocacy for Kristel reaches fewer people than a big Pinoy celebrity.  Either way, these things show us a lot about who we are as ‘the social media capital’ (of the world),” he added.